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Thread: Finding Root Password

  1. #1

    Finding Root Password

    A NEW linux user (friend of mine) lost his root password. Is there a way to recover it without reloading?

    He does not know what distro he has. He says it is 8.1 (obviously not RH yet).

    Sorry for lack of details but that is all I got.


  2. #2

    Re:Finding Root Password

    I think if you boot off the RH disc and run the recovery console (single user mode), it will allow you to log in as root without use of a password. Don't quote me on that, but I recall having done it before to repair a filesystem. However, your firend will be stuck at the CLI and I believe his filesystem will be mounted under /sysimage/something_or_other (unless I mistaking RH for SuSE), anyway, you may have to walk him through it. Give it a shot before reinstalling.

  3. #3

    Re:Finding Root Password

    If I remember correctly, you used to be able to enter single user mode from the lilo prompt.

    I am not sure if it still holds true with the graphical lilo and grub but all you had to do was type:

    linux single

    at the lilo prompt, I believe.

    The recovery disc is probably a better idea though.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2001

    Re:Finding Root Password

    Boot with some distro - tomsrbt, HAL91, the install CD, etc. Mount the / partition, go to the etc/ dir, edit the passwd and shadow files to remove the password field - it should be empty. Reboot, login as root with no password, set a new password. Once that all works, beat your friend about the head with a large trout.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

    Re:Finding Root Password

    Check and the Linux Documentation website

  6. #6

    Re:Finding Root Password

    FreeBSD has a way to set if you want it to prompt for a password when going to single user mode. I think by default it's set to no password. I think Linux is the same way. I turned mine on, but then I can remember what I use for passwords. To boot to single user mode in Lilo, you can proceed the name of the operating system by the number 1.

  7. #7

  8. #8
    Kind Mastermind
    stryder144's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Denver, CO

    Re:Finding Root Password

    [quote author=ph34r link=board=5;threadid=6209;start=0#58857 date=1043858225]
    Once that all works, beat your friend about the head with a large trout.


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